Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Howard Spends More On Industrial Relations Propaganda Than National Security Awareness

Australian Public Furious Over The Millions Howard & Co. Waste Praising Itself Through Relentless Advertising

The John Howard government is quickly spiralling into a pit of no return over widespread public outrage centred on the vast amounts of taxpayer money being spent on government propaganda.

The outrage yesterday was centred around a second, probably more expensive, series of advertisements trying convince the public that changes to their working conditions and pay are good for them. This new campaign comes after an earlier advertising blitz by the government that tried to sell us the same fantasy, at a cost of some $60 million.

But the majority of the Australian public made it clear, months ago, that they don't like 'WorkChoices' and no amount of flashy, wall-to-wall propaganda is going to change their minds.

Howard seems absolutely mystified about this reaction, as though he can't comprehend that Australians know when they are being fed outrageous lies and spin. After 11 years, and more than $1.7 billion worth of government propaganda, or 'awareness campaigns', it appears the vast majority of Australians have now fully woken up to Howard's use of taxpayer funded advertising to attempt to shape the minds and guide the opinions of the people.

It's clearly not working anymore.

The Australian government finally realised last week that the 'WorkChoices' brand name it gave to its widely unpopular industrial relations reforms is absolutely worthless, and had to be dumped.

So they decided to rename the program of reforms, as though they believed the Australian public would think it was all something new and different, instead of the same reheated degradation of their working lives.

From the rage and disgust being vented across talk back radio, letters to the editor and thousands of blog comments, it is clear that millions of Australians are insulted by this latest Howard trick.

In just seven days, the Australian government will have spent more than $4 million of taxpayers money on advertising new changes, and a new name, for its beleaguered reforms of the Australian workplace. That is, the reforms of the reforms that only two months ago they said would not change at all.

In comparison, the Australian government spent only $4.8 million over 16 months in advertising related to national security.

Wasn't terrorism supposed to be the greatest threat to the Australian public? If the government's rampaging advertising splurges are to be believed, it now considers its own workplace reforms to be the greater threat.

Or at least, it believes the public widespread rejection of the reforms is the greatest threat to the government's existence, and chances of being re-elected come November :

A Senate estimates committee heard yesterday the Government would spend $4.1million of taxpayers' money on a single week of advertising about its plans to introduce a fairness test as part of its Work Choices laws, while it had spent $4.8million on a 16-month campaign on security.

The spending revealed "quite a lot" about the Government's spending priorities, ALP senator John Faulkner said. He calculated the IR ad spending would cost $28,472 an hour.

The attack came as John Howard rejected Labor's criticism of the Government's $111million spending on advertisements, accusing Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd of hypocrisy.

And the wasting of taxpayers money doesn't end there. The Howard government is now planning an 'awareness campaign' related to climate change that will shake more than $50 million out of the taxpayers.

$50 million to tell us about the reality of climate change? Are they out of their f..king minds?

Or will the 'climate change campaign' be something else altogether? Yet another publicly funded exercise in the government patting itself on the back?

Of course it will be. Haven't most of the government's advertising campaigns been, either directly or indirectly, a way of shouting to the Australian public "Lookit! We did good! Lookit! Thank us! Praise us! We trieds real hards to be good! Lookit!"

Whatever happened to just shutting the hell up and getting on with your job? It used to be the Australian way.

Howard & Co, however, just can't stop talking about how great a job they think they've been doing, all the while ignoring the obvious fact that Australians now work harder, and longer, than they have in a century, and this is one of the chief reasons why the economy is doing so well right now.

Not according to Howard & Co. It's all because of them, and they won't let you forget it.

The remarkably sensitive Howard government needs all the praise it can get, even if it has to praise itself. At the expense of the taxpayers of course.

Australians are clearly sick of the government wasting their money like this, and, quite bizarrely, the use of taxpayers money to fund political advertising may now likely be one of the more controversial issues of the coming federal election. This is, of course, the time when the government spends more money than usual on advertising.

How will the Howard government counter Labor claims and piles of proof of the money they've wasted in the past 11 years on advertising?

Perhaps with another round of advertising. Yes. That's the ticket. Another $50 million worth of ads telling us why they don't waste our money on advertising.

The rising tide of absurdities and ironies now dragging the Howard government down into the deepest, darkest depths grows larger by the day. And this time, they won't be able to ad-spend their way out of trouble.

The Australian public are well and truly onto them now. And they're bloody pissed off about it.

As they well should be.

A rough estimate, by my reckoning, says the $50 million the government intends to spend on self-praise over its alleged plans to combat climate change would outfit more than 3500 Australian homes with a pretty decent solar power set-up, and a rainwater tank.

3500 homes on solar and rainwater for the cost of a Howard government ad campaign that will tell us nothing we don't already know, or can't find out for ourselves, if we're interested enough to want to know more.

3500 homes!

Ahh, you can only dream they'd spend the money in such a practical way.

More Outrageous Howard Splurging Of Public Money : $540,000 To Renovate A Dining Room - Cancelled After Public Airs Its Disgust

Howard Admits Coalition Faces Annihilation At Federal Election - Says He Has No More "Rabbits" To Pull Out Of His Hat

A Small Slice Of The Public Opinion On 'WorkChoices' And Howard's Changes To The Australian Workplace - Sad Tales And Horror Stories

Howard Splurges $20 Million On Maintaining Two Homes When He Only Needs One

Rudd Promises To Restrict Government Spending On Advertising Campaigns